Home WORLD EUROPA Tata Steel threatens to close its UK plant and cut 8,000 jobs

Tata Steel threatens to close its UK plant and cut 8,000 jobs


We intend to make a transition to a greener steel mill. But this is only possible with the financial assistance of the governmentsaid the chairman of the Tata group, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, in statements published on Friday in the FinancialTimes.

The official explains that the group has been in discussions for two years with the British authorities and hopes to reach an agreement within the next 12 months. Otherwise, it will study the closure of steelworks.

Tata Steel employs 8,000 people in the UK at nearly 15 sites, around half of them at this plant, the country’s largest steelworks.

“Shocking announcement”

This ad from Tata is shocking and was made without any consultation with the unionswhereas we have been talking to the company for monthswithout an agreement having been found on the roadmap towards decarbonization, denounced the union Community in a press release.

However, no steel mill in the world has decarbonized its production without government assistancefor his part recognized Peter Hughes, head of the union Unityin a separate statement.

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The government should focus on the maintenance of highly skilled and well-paid steel jobs rather than on the Boris Johnson succession campaign which is currently agitating the Conservatives, rebukes the union.

Tata aims for its steel activities, which are particularly greenhouse gas emitters, to be carbon neutral by 2050 and wants to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% in the United Kingdom by 2030 and by 40% in its sites in the Netherlands on the same date.

Less polluting ovens

According to the economic daily, Tata plans to close its two blast furnaces in Port Talbot and instead build two electric arc furnaces, which reprocess scrap steel and are less carbon-emitting, which would cost a total of 3 billion pounds (C$4.6 billion).

The British Department for Business and Energy, requested by theAFPassured to dialogue regularly with Tata, who is an esteemed steel producer and major employer in the UK.

The executive argues that it is already supporting the green transition of the whole sector through an industrial transformation fund of 289 million pounds (446 million Canadian dollars), to which is added more than 1 billion (1.5 billion Canadian dollars) to help with energy efficiency, decarbonization, low-emission infrastructure and research and development.

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Contacted byAFPTata Steel did not respond immediately.

Declining results

Sluggish steel demand during the pandemic had previously raised fears for this plant. Tata Steel had indicated, at the beginning of 2020, that it could not afford to continue to make up for its losses.

The previous year, Tata Steel had already decided in its European workforce, notably announcing 1000 job cuts in the United Kingdom.

The pollution generated by steelworks is also increasingly a source of legal difficulties in the face of the climate emergency: the Dutch courts have thus opened an investigation into pollution in February intentional and illegal caused by Tata Steel in its factory near Amsterdam.

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